400 construction trainees are site ready after training programme
A free construction skills training programme, launched across Hampshire last November, has been a great success with almost 400 people completing the two-week course so far — and there are places for another 400 before the scheme ends next March.
The County Council’s programme which aims to open up opportunities in the industry to a wider range of people while filling the county’s skills gap, has been funded by a £1 million award from the Department for Education and the Construction Industry Training Board. The Authority’s bid was one of 26 approved from a total of 60 bids nationally.
Councillor Roz Chadd, the County Council’s Executive Member for Education and Skills, said the uptake on the course had so far exceeded expectations: “With six months to go until the end of the project in March 2020, we are on track to exceed our original target of 650 trainees, qualifying individuals to work on construction sites across the county.
“We have seen people who would not normally have considered a career in construction coming forward – from under-represented groups such as women and ethnic minorities, as well as the long-term unemployed. Their enthusiasm has been impressive – around 150 of the 400 trainees are now working in the industry, thanks to our links with employers on major construction schemes.
“In Hampshire, and nationally, there is a shortage of skilled building workers, so the opportunities are there for anyone who passes this basic training. I urge anyone looking for a new challenge, and wanting to secure their employment future, to consider construction and try a taster course.”
Alison, a former office worker from Gosport, has just completed a course. She said: “I’m really interested in plumbing, and I really enjoyed doing the practical work like bricklaying.” She highly recommends the course, saying: “Go for it, you will be supported and welcomed, and you’ll have all the encouragement you need to get into the work you want.”
For further information on available training courses, visit www.hampshire.gov.uk/construction-skills.